Do any of you ever feel like you’re living a double life?
If you’re anything like me, then you have to balance your complete and total obsession with the EDM scene with a corporate job in the “real world.” Seems easy enough, right?
Not really. Speaking for myself, I cannot hold back when I love something, or even someone. I want everyone to know about it, love it like I do and understand why it means so much to me. But unfortunately, in certain cases, these feelings may not always be met with open arms.
I work for a professional hockey team in a small town – not the most conservative, cookie-cutter, 9-5, suit and pants kind of position – but still, one that requires me to follow certain codes of conduct. And after working here for the past two and a half years, my love for EDM has grown exponentially. I somehow lost sight of the fact that my career should be one of the most important parts of my life – and began projecting my personal life to all of my coworkers. I would talk very openly about the scene, my experiences at festivals and my themed outfits, and they soon began to immediately tell when I went to a show the night before (as I slumped into my chair and slipped in headphones for the duration of the day).
Is there anything necessarily wrong with this? No! I’m sure, for some of you, your coworkers embrace raving and the scene with open arms. Now, can I have your job? But unfortunately, my coworkers were so quick to judge – so quick to assume certain things about me, the music, the culture, and the ‘stereotypes’ of the scene. I became branded as the “raver girl.” People began to not take me seriously as an employee because they thought I needed to “grow up.” As a 25-year-old raver, they believed the scene was meant for the 18-22 demographic of college kids who don’t have “real responsibilities” yet.
I immediately felt awful, and like I had made a big mistake opening so much about my personal life. Luckily, I have friends in the office who had been to shows with me before, and helped embody the amazing side of the dance music culture that people so quick to judge barely see. And there were a handful of people who, while not involved in the scene at all, still got it – they thought it was cool, different, and clearly something I loved more than almost anything else in my life. They wanted song suggestions, to come to a show one day to see what it was all about, and to encourage me to follow my passions and pastimes. These people warm my heart, and make me want to be a better person – because they are individuals who aren’t closed minded and can appreciate other people’s interests, even if they may differ from their own.
The reality of the “real world” is that there are some people who will never understand, and let their own preconceived notions and judgments try to bring you down. But, the purpose of this article isn’t to depress you, and think the real world is full of awful, disparaging professionals. It’s to help you learn from the mistakes I may have made trying to blur the line between my personal life and professional life. I’m not saying you should never talk about raving, or your personal passions at work – just remember that there may be consequences. Unfortunately, there will be corporate suits who will never know the feeling of walking into the world’s biggest festival, hearing the drop of your favorite song live, meeting your idol DJ or making friends and memories that can withstand the toughest hardships or struggles. But this should never stop you from enjoying each of those things, and all the other things you may love about the scene.
So what’s my advice for those of you who may struggle with the concept of a “double life?” It’s just this – a “double life” isn’t all that bad. Keep certain details between you and your rave family – and focus on work while you’re at your job. Keep things vague – say you had an amazing time at EDC – and share pictures or videos only with those coworkers who share the same passion and understanding you do. You also never know who might notice your festival wristband at work and become a new confidant, friend or rave buddy. And, if someone does approach you with genuine questions or interest in EDM, you are presented with a chance to show them what captivates you so much about the scene.
This and this alone is how we help share and spread our love and passion for a music scene with others. Share a song, video, kandi, tent, car ride, outfit or experience with the right person – a person who is willing to learn and accept means our universal rave family will only grow stronger.